— blending the mix

The best use of Augmented Reality to date

A couple of weeks ago I posted about how good BMW’s new ads were with their inclusion of augmented reality to promote the new Z4. All well and good you might say. Great for brand awareness, great to get people discussing the brand, but did it really serve a purpose beyond awareness? You may argue that this alone is enough, but this latest gem from AKQA for the US Postal Service’s Priority Mail service creates genuine utility.

As soon as I saw this, courtesy of Nathan, it made me think of the old Pirellis ad “Power is nothing without control”

Likewise, what use is technological innovation if it doesn’t ever deliver anything of value? I don’t think anyone can say that this little gem is anything BUT useful.

So…rather than thinking about how wacky you can be…think about how it can solve a problem.

12 comments
  1. Dave Kinsella says: June 10, 20092:20 pm

    Cool, it’s about time somebody did something useful with this technology.
    I assume you have to be careful to ensure that the logo is printed to exactly the right size, any scaling would change the size of the virtual box.

    It’s an excellent concept.

  2. Dave Kinsella says: June 10, 20099:20 am

    Cool, it’s about time somebody did something useful with this technology.
    I assume you have to be careful to ensure that the logo is printed to exactly the right size, any scaling would change the size of the virtual box.

    It’s an excellent concept.

  3. Rob Dobson says: June 11, 200910:53 am

    That’s very clever, although it does seem a rather elaborate alternative to what is otherwise just a case of getting a ruler out and comparing against some dimensions stated online.

    If the organisations I’ve worked at are anything to go buy, it’ll take 4 weeks to get authorisation to get a webcam installed! So is it *really* useful/practical? Or instead a rather nice gimmick that’ll get some PR?

  4. Rob Dobson says: June 11, 20095:53 am

    That’s very clever, although it does seem a rather elaborate alternative to what is otherwise just a case of getting a ruler out and comparing against some dimensions stated online.

    If the organisations I’ve worked at are anything to go buy, it’ll take 4 weeks to get authorisation to get a webcam installed! So is it *really* useful/practical? Or instead a rather nice gimmick that’ll get some PR?

  5. Nick Burcher says: June 12, 200912:51 pm

    Glasses Direct are letting potential customers model glasses though Augmented Reality – a really practical way of letting people experience a product through an ecommerce site.

  6. Nick Burcher says: June 12, 20097:51 am

    Glasses Direct are letting potential customers model glasses though Augmented Reality – a really practical way of letting people experience a product through an ecommerce site.

  7. Anonymous says: June 12, 20091:50 pm

    @Dave – from the looks of the video, you can change the size of the virtual box through the web interface. Still not entirely sure if the printed image needs to be visible or if it simply is the trigger for the software to kick in?

    @Rob – i have a feeling I know who/where you’re talking about! Admittedly, the technology is perhaps limiting, but it’s not like webcams aren’t 10-a-penny anyway. Now, thinking of MAG…wonder if there was a way that this could be used by passengers to see if their hand-luggage was too big to fit on-board before they travelled…saving time and effort for everyone…you can have that one for free 😉

    @nick – cheers for stopping by :-) and thanks for the heads-up (no pun intended). A great idea and something which has just sparked a great idea for a client of mine too!

  8. paul.fabretti says: June 12, 20098:50 am

    @Dave – from the looks of the video, you can change the size of the virtual box through the web interface. Still not entirely sure if the printed image needs to be visible or if it simply is the trigger for the software to kick in?

    @Rob – i have a feeling I know who/where you’re talking about! Admittedly, the technology is perhaps limiting, but it’s not like webcams aren’t 10-a-penny anyway. Now, thinking of MAG…wonder if there was a way that this could be used by passengers to see if their hand-luggage was too big to fit on-board before they travelled…saving time and effort for everyone…you can have that one for free 😉

    @nick – cheers for stopping by :-) and thanks for the heads-up (no pun intended). A great idea and something which has just sparked a great idea for a client of mine too!

  9. Kev - LG says: June 15, 20099:42 am

    Genius. Nice to see people finally putting it to good use, rather than some flash no-point creative execution.

  10. Kev - LG says: June 15, 20094:42 am

    Genius. Nice to see people finally putting it to good use, rather than some flash no-point creative execution.

  11. Rob Dobson says: June 16, 20093:01 pm

    See your point Paul, but why would MAG customers download a file, print it off, set up a webcam, and use the application on the site RATHER than just measuring their luggage?

    You’re asking them to adopt a new, more complicated behaviour which achieves nothing more than the old behaviour did – which they didn’t do in the first place.

    Trying glasses on online (or clothes, or haircuts) offers additional value to the user for the extra effort involved in taking on the new behaviour – I don’t believe that this does to be honest.

  12. Rob Dobson says: June 16, 200910:01 am

    See your point Paul, but why would MAG customers download a file, print it off, set up a webcam, and use the application on the site RATHER than just measuring their luggage?

    You’re asking them to adopt a new, more complicated behaviour which achieves nothing more than the old behaviour did – which they didn’t do in the first place.

    Trying glasses on online (or clothes, or haircuts) offers additional value to the user for the extra effort involved in taking on the new behaviour – I don’t believe that this does to be honest.

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